Eastern Michigan University’s baseball team opened the 2015 season with a pair of losses in the desert. Following a 7-3 opening day loss to the University of Arizona, the Eagles continued to struggle as they fell to the Wildcats a second time, 16-3.
In the first game in Tucson, Ariz., the Eagles came away with a 7-3 loss to the Wildcats.
Arizona starter, Austin Schnabel, was awarded the win going six and two-thirds of an inning allowing three earned runs and eight strikeouts.
The Eagles were able to capitalize on multiple base hits in the top of the second inning which led to a Marquise Gill single allowing Adam Dennison to score the first run of the ballgame.
Arizona came right back to answer in the bottom half of the inning, posting RBI singles by Bobby Dalbec and Jared Oliva and a deep centerfield triple by second baseman, Scott Kingery, that gave the Wildcats a 5-1 lead going into the third inning.
Despite allowing five runs in the second inning, Eagles starting pitcher Ryan Lavoie pitched well the rest of the game going six innings with five strikeouts and allowing five runs.
The Eagles tried to claw back into the game in the seventh inning when senior, Johnny Rubino, triple scored Tony DiLeo, and Rubino scored following a wild pitch to trim the Arizona lead 5-3.
The Wildcats answered back in the eighth with back-to-back triples followed by a passed ball which would extend their lead to 7-3.
The Eagles' comeback bid ended when junior, Austin Wilson, stroke-out-looking to end the ballgame.
In Saturday’s defeat, things quickly unraveled in the first inning when Eagles' starter Charlie Land gave up a two run double to Arizona designated hitter Tyler Krause and then a two run homer to second baseman Scott Kingery in the second inning.
The Eagles were able to get onto the board in the third inning after first baseman, Brennan Williams', RBI groundout which cut the lead to 4-1.
The Wildcats finished off the Eagles in the fifth inning with a two run double by JJ Matijevic, a RBI triple by Bobby Dalbec and a RBI double by Jared Oliva which extended the lead 8-1.
Arizona continued to pile on the runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings by scoring eight more runs including a dead centerfield shot by Bobby Dalbec to give the Wildcats a 16-1 lead.
The Eagles were able to score two runs in the top of the ninth inning from a Danny Kerr pinch hit single and a Marquis Gill bases loaded walk, trimming the deficit to 16-3, but Brennan Williams lined out to a double play to end the game.
Junior College transfer Jordan Peterson continues to hit for the Eagles by adding two more in Saturday’s contest.
The Eagles bullpen, which was the biggest struggle for them last season, struggled giving up a combined 10 runs.
The opening weekend series against Arizona continues Sunday at 2 p.m. EST. Senior RHP Jacob Andrews will start Sunday for the Eagles. Please follow us online for game results.
Follow Andrew Mascharka on Twitter: @amascharka